Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2

There's a subculture that worships the first Pitch Perfect, and I am by no means a member of that group. I thought the original was fine, a nice underdog sports comedy in which the sport is singing — a cappella style. So I was almost shocked to discover that I actually like Pitch Perfect 2, a film I wasn't particularly excited about seeing in the first place. But that's the great thing about movies: sometimes they can surprise you.

Pitch Perfect 2
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld


Thursday, April 16, 2015

True Story

When you think about Jonah Hill and James Franco starring in a movie together, there are certain expectations that come to mind: insult humor, dick jokes, maybe a bromance or two. True Story throws all of that out the window and casts the two Apatow alums in dramatic roles without a joke to be heard in the entire film. While each man has previously dipped his toe in dramatic waters independently from one another (Moneyball, The Wolf of Wall Street, 127 Hours, As I Lay Dying), this is the first time they've been cast as leads in a serious project opposite each other, and they both dive in with conviction.

True Story
Co-writer/Director: Rupert Goold
Starring: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ex Machina

Suspenseful, stylish, and refreshingly smart, Alex Garland's Ex Machina is the sci-fi film we've been waiting for. Garland made a name for himself writing movies like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd, but this is his directorial debut — a chance for him to execute his own vision on screen — and he ably takes on the challenge, forging an impressive first feature that tackles the idea of artificial intelligence with some actual intelligence.

Ex Machina
Writer/Director: Alex Garland
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander


Monday, April 6, 2015

Furious 7

I'll just come right out and say it: Furious 7 is the best Fast & Furious movie. It's a wonderful blend of the two things these films do best — cheesy sentimentality and jaw-dropping action — and it's packed to the brim with comedic moments and transcendent set pieces. It also contains a perfect goodbye to Paul Walker that left me wiping away tears. It's everything you could want in a Fast movie, and more.

Furious 7
Director: James Wan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, et al.